Modern Internet Literature: Meme

Have you heard of meme before? It is a trendy communication tool on the internet among the netizens. It is a virtually-transmitted cultural symbol and social idea. According to the definition by the Oxford Dictionary, it literally means images, videos, or even piece of text etc. It may be humorous about society or nature typically. Many netizens copy that piece of work and it spreads rapidly on the internet. However, for the true meaning of “meme” , there is still no standard definition which is approved by the majority.

To explain “meme” in a more specific way, it is an international communication tool invented by the netizens around the world. In 1990s, “meme” was only widely used by the internet news like Usenet, in order to enrich the news story. By using the existing pictures on the internet, they created their own “meme” ,with some irony to chat with others in their own chat room, emails and forum. If the recipient gets the main point, that is the objective of a“Meme”, as it aims at evoking resonance among people and readers.

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The main points of “Meme” are interactive and autonomous. Not like the traditional newspaper, TV programmes, radio or advertisement etc, consumers just passively receive the multiple filtered information given by the mass media. Moreover, that information is highly subjective and advertising content. When the trend of network creation rises up, the new generation can have a choice to reject believing that information.

In recent decades, due to the rapid development of social platforms, the knowledge of photoshop comes up. Many things in reality come into the internet. That’s why “Meme” can go viral among the netizens. Most of the times, in a same incident, mass media would use hundreds of words to explain in order to give a general description to the public. Comparing with it, as to avoid long and boring texts, netizens usually use a picture to catch the point of the incident, or explain with a feeling after reading it. This can easily evoke resonance among readers. Therefore, it is reached to emotion sharing when people keep sharing the picture.

Nowadays, “meme” is used to be an expression among the social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Different kinds of social media create their own “meme” so as to seek attention and evoke resonance among readers, which includes everything you imagine, like politics, lifestyle, social or even philosophy. There is a common feature among the above topics, to avoid preaching but using our lives to affect others. As a “meme” is created for entertainment but not enlightenment, it is not an serious topic but easy to catch people’s eyes. If people can receive a piece of information in three seconds, a “meme” can make you feel satisfied in three seconds. If Literature is about the inspiration in life and experience sharing, “meme” is a kind of literature without a doubt.

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Chloe Li
Chloe Li


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